Key topics in today’s conversation include:
The SaaS Ramp Podcast explores how tech leaders scale from product adoption to enterprise success. Learn more at www.saasrampmedia.com.
Pete Thornton 0:00
All right. Welcome, everybody. Welcome to the SaaS ramp podcast. I’m your host podcast Pete here today with special guest Jon Mathews, sales leader at Secureframe. John, welcome to the show.
Jon Mathews 0:17
Thank you, Pete. I appreciate you having me.
Pete Thornton 0:18
It’s great to meet you via LinkedIn didn’t know you before. But always nice to meet friendly face out of doubt, even if you didn’t necessarily start there. But let’s just start on the personal side. Tell us a little bit about you. Where’d you grow up? How’d you get to Dallas?
Jon Mathews 0:33
Yeah. And again, Pete, thanks for having me on. I feel like we’ve known each other for years, we have that synergy between us. Long story. A little bit about me grew up in New York, or Sydney, born in New York grew up in St. Louis, after school. Obviously, we had a recession, I think everyone’s pretty familiar with around the 2008/2009 time period, I was very fortunate after school with my undergrad degree that some larger cities are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And so Chicago was in my destination, I wanted to start my career in a big city had the opportunity to grow and grow fast. And so Chicago made sense, right? And very fortunate for an organization such as Aerotech to bring me on board and begin my career there have been through the years found myself you’re down in Dallas back in 2017 and I’ve been here ever since.
Pete Thornton 1:21
Nice. Yeah, lovely. You have had quite a journey on where like, like a lot of people in SaaS, do. There are a lot of steps, a lot of transitions, a lot of moves, some of them are upward mobility. And sometimes that’s like for a new opportunity. And sometimes it’s because something just it can be volatile, then things can transition in your sales leader Secureframe today. But that’s not the first step out of college, of course. So like, yeah, yeah, a little bit about, like, how you got to where you are today. Please, take as much time as you want.
Jon Mathews 1:54
Yeah, Pete, I was an odd individual. I think at the age of 16. I said you want I want sales. And I want leadership, right? I don’t think many 16-year-olds, things like that. But business kind of runs in the family through my dad and grandfather being sales leaders in their career. And my three sisters I have today on sales. And so I think it’s safe to say it kind of runs in the family. But being at that age, I kind of always knew. So going into college my business degree was for the purpose of supporting my career that is what I wanted. And so, after school, I knew I wanted sales, right? So identifying that organization that was going to enable me to go to outside sales as quickly as possible, because I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to spend a whole bunch of time and inside sales, right, that was that my bread and butter, I was very fortunate to have found an organization called Aerotech, one of the largest staffing firms in the entire in the entire world. And so, I think that was pivotal moment in my career starting out inside sales with them as a recruiter for the first nine months and then getting promoted fairly quickly in that first year. And then being this 22-year-old and inside sales or outside sales, and it was just wild bass success, within my three and a half years moved up quite a few times that towards the year and a half tail end with them, I took on more of a leadership position that at a young age, so I was overseeing some other account managers while still managing a few customers at that time. Right. So it was, I say it was a pivotal moment because I think it was so important to look at an organization that was going to support you through the years, especially after graduating school, right, getting that training, getting that development, and they had the perfect environment for that they had a great sales training program, they really pressured you into being better than who you were yesterday, right. And I think those are all important aspects to look at any company for your first role coming out of school or just starting your career nonetheless. And so I look back at my time with them very lucky, very fortunate. But it also propelled me within my career. And so after three and a half wonderful years of being with Aerotech, I got into technology with my second organization, so stepping in technology on top of dabbling in software and dabbling into leadership. So that’s when I got into full-time leadership. So I was a young leader, I didn’t carry a book very long in my career, which is not the traditional path. Usually, you spend some years on the sales side, and then individuals want to get more into the leadership side. But I told you, Pete, I was oddball, he always wanted to the leadership side. So I found a great small organization that wanted to grow fast and gave me the keys to help them grow and spend three years with them. And we saw exceptional growth. Everyone says, wow, I had to do that. And I said, Well, it wasn’t me. It was hiring great people. It was having leaders who trusted you to do the right things to help them grow and to listen to you, especially given the amount of years of experience I had at the time. I don’t think many companies would have given me that type of opportunity. Right? And so it was kind of a little bit something on the line for me to say. I got some things to prove myself. But like I said, when you have leaders who trust you in and give you the keys to say, hey, we need to grow, we want to grow how we’re gonna get there. And so three years with my second organization bridge points, and after that you can see my career, I moved to a few different opportunities I kept growing in my career, my third companies with key force more back on the technology services side where I was overseeing the North Texas region for them, which enabled me to move down here to Dallas, which was great. And then after being with K force for some time, I moved over to a company called us where, again, more technology services, kind of a unique career aspect there. And, I’ll be a little vulnerable with you here. Pete, I think there was a point in time where I was a very different individual in my late 20s, I wanted a lot because I faced early success. You forget about those great aspects that got you there, identifying the right company, identifying the right leaders, the vision, the services, the product. And I think, taking the leap of faith and going with another organization to say, Hey, maybe I can vote myself to steps even higher, where I think that was, that was the wrong mindset to have with LPs, I came in as I helped them launch out their sales training program for the first six months, but then got into overseeing the enterprise side of the entire organization. And so it was just one of those aspects, I think, obviously, the trading side was very unique was a different challenge, it was a different view, trying to build something from the ground that really had no establishment. And so that was, luckily, it was fortunate to that it was successful, obviously, continuing to improve, and we did improve upon that. But I got back into what I do best, and that’s overseeing a sales team. And, and going from there. And then so after that, I took some time off to really reflect of going back to, who is John? What is important to me in what was important than to my career, right, and so very lucky to have joined a company called Daddo, and October 2020, which was full-time software at this point in time. And so that’s where I was one of our senior directors overseeing business development, account management and within a region. And so there were pre-IPO before I joined when I joined them, I believe they just went IPO this year. And so congrats to them on their success. But it was one of those things still, too, it was at that point in time where I was still missing that right company, right, I was I was still missing that environment. And people I enjoyed being around and who worked just as hard as me and who had the same vision and mindset. And that’s where I found Secureframe. It was one of those first conversations I had with my head of sales where I knew it was a fit, I knew it was a fitted head on, I enjoyed it, I enjoyed and then speaking with our CEO, CEO, where they wanted to take the organization where our product was at today, what their, what their mindset was, and how we’re going to hypergrowth scale within this organization. And so, a whole box of my career. That’s where I’m at today.
Pete Thornton 7:54
Yeah, that’s a fantastic, professional journey. And like, Man, what a launch directly into it, first of all, to even know what you want to do, especially in sales and leadership. Sometimes people might pick an astronaut or olympic runner.
Jon Mathews 8:11
Yeah, not over here.
Pete Thornton 8:13
Yeah, so maybe that comes from family you mentioned all sisters and family. And sometimes when you can see it, you can grow around it, you can see the pros and the cons, and kind of weigh them out. And since that you’ve already been in that ecosystem for longer than you actually had you been in school, or on the ball float or something like that. And then all sudden, you’re, but you’re immersed in, and you’re immersed in the conversation around it. So that’s an interesting insight. But there’s probably not a mistake that you see a lot of doctors whose parents were doctors and things like that.
Jon Mathews 8:47
Yes, you could say parents weigh in a little bit. But we were always taught grown up, hey, take your own career path, do what’s gonna make you happy. But even at a young age, I was selling right, I started working at the age of 12, selling golf balls on the side. So I was always in some type of sales role at a young age, always trying to convince people to buy something.
Pete Thornton 9:09
Get your title list. I have some catalogs. With every backing on here on the side of driving range just now. It’s passing was really and then Aerotech. What I heard when I made a career change to education into SaaS software, I just wanted to go someplace that would have excellent attorney capabilities. And I didn’t go to tech systems. I think it’s all to get all one. Yeah. Oh, one. So I went and I talked to them a lot. I was like, hey, look, I teach biology. Thinking about what coming to work for you, though. It takes a mean sales pitch to try to turn the corner on that. And it’s it was gonna be interesting. So I ended up doing something similar in business development at a SaaS software company, though. That’s because you’re looking at a lot of people and trying to help their career progression. Oh, that’s what you’d be doing in recruiting in business development. We were all day every day trying to like hone a message by looking at something like a LinkedIn profile. And then trying to establish what might be valuable to them based on who we assumed them to be from their public persona on LinkedIn. So probably looked at like 20,000 LinkedIn profiles within my first year of a career change. And so I think that that, besides just the success that you experienced was probably a really great kickstart to the later.
Jon Mathews 10:20
Yeah, I agree. I agree. I think it was just about identifying that I wanted sales and leadership at a young age. And I was very fortunate to have recognized that for Aerotech, that technology was booming, right, that was the industry to be in, I recognize that. I have sought services and software as my background, but I’ve stayed within technology, right. And organizations recognize leaders. Leadership is leadership, at the end of the day. Sales is sales. At the end of the day, there are some nuances in terms of transferring those sales skills. But as long as you have those sales, acumen, the sales tangible skill set, I think it is very transferable.
Pete Thornton 10:57
Nice. Yeah, yeah, it sure seems to be and of course, your resume kind of proves that out as well. You did mention there’s a couple of back and forth and you say sales and sales, and you gave it a some examples of some services, companies, and experiences and then obviously Secureframe software experience. Maybe unpack some of the pros and cons there or benefits, differences, comparisons, any of those kinds of things between sales and service.
Jon Mathews 11:23
Yeah, I think when you look at services versus software, there are some different nuances. But with services, you’re selling a team, right? You’re selling a team of experts that you have, or that you’ve leveraged in some form. I would also say, there’s a very heavy relationship piece of that. Now, you could argue that on both sides, relationships are important rapport building is important. Understand your customers challenges. What is their current state? What does the future state look like? Where do they want to be? Right? And so I think some of those nuances can be passed back and forth, that was services, you’re looking at a team versus a software on the software services side. So you want to ensure that you’re selling that aspect on the services side? And what your team’s capabilities are, what are your proof points? Where have they done this sets? What similar industries are they working with? Where you have customer examples? To showcase that piece? Well, on the software side, almost the same? A lot of similarities, right? On the software side, hey, we’ve done the same thing for company why, right? And I think this case study would be empowered to get to look at because it reminds me of where you’re at today, in your current state as an organization, here’s how it was this customers challenges, here’s how we solve their problems and give us their future state and outcome. You’re working with us. And so on the software side, I think there’s a lot of aspects where you get a little bit deeper into the competition space, some of your competitors have might similar features. And so it’s really about differentiating your feature sets within your software, how are you going to what’s your go-to market strategy? How are you selling those aspects versus the competition that you have out there and so forth? Someone asked me once Pdl, what do you enjoy more services or software? I was like, Oh, that’s a tough question. I just started my career with services. But I think we’re starting to see the trend that a lot of organizations want to go more to that ARR model, they’re looking for that repeat business, it’s easier to forecast, it’s easier to manage and to know exactly where you’re at from a company’s revenue standpoint.
Pete Thornton 13:21
Right. Right. Right. Yeah. Have you seen any companies make the services to software switch? Have they been able to like mechanize what was formerly purely humanized?
Jon Mathews 13:34
That’s a great question. Yeah, I worked for my second organization where we had services and software. That’s a challenge for a lot of companies because it’s two different, it’s two different back-end processes. It’s two different selling models, two different forecasts, all those types of things, right, when it comes to your sales organization. And so I do see that a lot of organizations kind of struggle with that piece. Because maybe you’re a services company, you want to switch to a software mindset, but you don’t have the internal resources or the knowledge to go in that direction. If you’re able to identify individuals that have that experience or on the software side and bring them into a services piece that could work. But typically, you see organizations stick with services, or just the software, but not to say that software doesn’t have a services piece to it, right? Because at the end of the day, you do have your software, but you do have an implementation team, you do have other consultants that walk customers through a journey and hold their hand throughout the process. So yeah, we’ll leave it at that.
Pete Thornton 14:36
Well, I’d say it’s some of my favorite callings: associates within the growth. I mean, within the go-to-market motion had been on the services side, there is third-party vendor working together, and they are just so helpful in that free sales, post-sales motion, some of the best solutions, yes. The ones who be in that ecosystem to come implement your software for you and I have worked across so many industries so rapidly, but it’s a little bit different. They have a different vibe and they’re coming externally. So I’ll have to share the message over with some of them and say hey.
Jon Mathews 15:13
Yeah, I like it. I like it.
Pete Thornton 15:15
For Secureframes. Now today, sales leader at Secureframe, does seem like all roads were leading to Rome for this one? For our audience, I’ll just bring them up to speed. Let me check in the show notes, but look up Secureframe. This is the LinkedIn headcount. You have LinkedIn is maybe right or wrong, postman shows as a much higher LinkedIn headcount. But that’s because I literally think some people are clicking Yes, I work. I am a postman. I think some mailmen have actual USPS. I’ve actually clicked ours. But somewhere around 120 headcount, and it shows 92 job openings. So let’s like get into a little bit of the hypergrowth piece of your experiences. Give us a level set. What does Secureframe do? And why is it growing so massively fast right now?
Jon Mathews 16:00
Yeah, so I’ll start with a high level overview. So we’re the leaders in security, compliance automation, we enable organizations to scale and build trust with their customers. And there is a sock to ISO 27,001, HIPAA, PCI br and CCPA. And so our software combined with a dedicated team of compliance experts, who hold our customers hands throughout the entire journey, helps reduce the friction of getting compliant by 75%, enabling organizations to focus more on the important aspects of their business. Our inception was in 2020, we’re our founder strive was doing audits in the past, specifically on-site to sock to an ISO 27,001, where he found himself coming across some of the challenges of doing this mainly, extremely time-consuming, it’s complex. And so he wanted to create an organization to take away that manual piece, but along with providing the appropriate support to help guide anyone who may not be experts within this space. And so, high-level overview of us, but if you look at the industry of compliance, I think everyone would agree, it’s only continuing to evolve, compliance is not a nice to have any more, it’s starting to become a must-have. And when you look at organizations who want to scale, and move upstream to mid-market enterprise organizations, let’s say if you want to work for Salesforce, they’re going to want to see that you have a sock two, or ISO 27,001, or any type of relic framework in place to ensure that you’re handling customer data appropriately for them. There’s also an argument to be made about your security posture. And as you scale as an organization, that becomes exponentially more difficult. Because the more you scale, the harder it is to implement better security posture with the more employees that you have. So starting when you’re at a smaller size of your organization that really helps create better posture as you grow. It’s a competitive advantage for a lot of organizations. We’ve seen a lot of companies not win deals first or competition, not because of their platform, but simply because they weren’t SOC two compliant. Right. So there’s a lot of aspects within compliance and security overall, that’s really enabling this industry just to take off fastly. We’ve had 10x AR growth in 2021. We had some next customer growth in 2021. And so the demand is out there, especially in today’s economic climates.
Pete Thornton 18:16
So so, so very rapid, and then again, for the audience, and you look up Secureframe estate and earned a $56 million Series B funding. No, no, it was sometime this year. I guess sometime in Q1?
Jon Mathews 18:29
Yes. Or yep, earlier this year, in Q1.
Pete Thornton 18:31
Okay, excellent. Yeah. Congratulations on that. Sometimes that Series B more— it’s not always. Every company is a little bit different. But when the Secureframe is going to be no different than the highest end of that spectrum, where it’s kind of like, pure product adoption. And now, how do we, how do we validate this mature enterprise motion? And that’s, that’s, I don’t know if that’s applicable here. Sounds like it. But I don’t want to speak already. Like, where do you think you’ve sit in the whole range of— You mentioned that it was “pre-IPO.” We had an inception that 2020 And there’s an IPO somewhere out there once you nail it all down and prove you can scale. Like, where do you guys sit within that doesn’t have to be timeframe that just on a percentage basis.
Jon Mathews 19:19
No. The great thing about Secureframe is our leaders from our CEO, shrubs, our Sema, it’s in our head of sales eminent in all of our other great leaders that we have it within the CCIE. Today, when you look at it, we all have the same mindset. We all want to APO one day, we all want to grow as fast and as quickly as possible, right? I think if you look at the Snowflake story, that’s something that we compare ourselves to and in terms of trying to IPO within that time, advise that aspect, but we also recognize we want to do it the right way, as well. If you look at one of our investors, Kleiner Perkins, one of the best investment firms out there, they’re one of our biggest backers that we have and so they certainly believe in our vision, they believe in our direction, I think That’s always important to note that, though you want to scale quickly, you also want to do it the right way. Right. And within any type of hyper-growth organization, you’re gonna face challenges. We were talking beforehand. I mean, you’re building a plane in the air while flying at the same time, right? So tell me that’s not a difficult challenge because I know it would be.
Pete Thornton 20:20
100%. Yeah, yeah, definitely is. And recall, podcast Pete, your host, in his day job is an enablement later. So it’s the operation side, the support side of that feels it heavily, like you’re selling the software, we are coming in for the implementation over and over and over. And it can be very manual. And you do have to, like, pick up the pieces and make sure that that growth is not only set up on the backside of what mess could we create as we went that way, but seeing if we can get ahead of the business and actually lead it to some degree like, this is our messaging now. Let’s look forward to next year. Where will we want to be with that particular messaging? Or what’s the headcount gonna be you want 80 more in these 17 roles in the next quarter? Okay, then we’re going to have to have a place for them to land, like, where did the new hire programs look like? Can we onboard successfully? These are things that have all taken place at postman over the last 18 months from 250 employees to? And maybe it’s been 20 months and but like out to closer to 650.
Jon Mathews 21:18
Pete Thornton 21:20
Yeah, it looks without going through right now. So it’s really, really interesting.
Jon Mathews 21:26
Yeah, we’re, I think we’re a few inches behind Jeff. Right. But we’ll we’ll look at your playbook and see how you guys did it.
Pete Thornton 21:34
Rapidly approaching. So I’m curious because it’s backing it up. It’s backing it up a little before when I even joined postman on this journey. It’s a this is some similar journey, this kind of like uniform esque sort of journey. What is you look ahead, are the challenges for yourself and your team, as a sales leader, your whole revenue growth team?
Jon Mathews 21:57
Yeah, I think a lot of individuals would agree with VIP, and you’re no stranger to this when you work for hyper-growth startups. I’m not sure everyone understands the complexity and challenges that, that come with that right. We I’ve already alluded to, and it’s one of my favorite lines. I first heard that piece, Ron had that sales evidence. Like, we’re building a plane in the air, I remember interviewing me, it seems like, waffling at the same time. And I’m like, okay, all right. How difficult can that be? Right? It’s, it’s a challenge. It’s so difficult because you have a lot of things that you’re doing audible already, right, you have a lot of things that you’re doing on the fly, you might, you might have a strategy today. But that strategy might change next week because customer demands or trends, things of that nature. For anyone that hasn’t been powered by hyper-growth, it’s not for everyone, but people who want to work hard and want to grow in their careers and really learn how a business goes from inception all the way to post IPO. I think this is an environment for anyone, right, I think one of the first challenges that come to mind is hiring. This is a hyper-growth startups biggest challenge. And it’s hiring is typically the number one priority, right? You get the identify the right people that is so crucial, you not only have to meet hiring demands associated with that growth, but you also have to make sure that you’re identifying the right people for your environment. So having those two aspects of having a hiring quota on your head in terms of also looking at quality. That’s an important aspect, and so you look at it’s a team aspect in a hypergrowth organization, you are working with everyone within the company. You look at your talent acquisition team, we have a phenomenal talent acquisition team here in terms of supporting us within that aspect. So, there are a lot of nuances, but hiring is the first and number one piece. I would also say looking at product development, this is essential as well because you’re continuing to develop a platform as you scale. So you’re not only addressing the development of your platform geared towards your ideal customer profile, your ICP, but also competing against others with a similar platform out there today. What are you doing in those aspects to continue to develop your product, as you scale at high demand, right. And then I think the also the third piece of it that comes to top of mind for me, Pete, I think his reputation and image may many I think many leaders tend to forget about is as you scale, your reputation and image is highly important, right? You’re still in, you’re in the beginning stages, but you’re becoming vastly popular within your industry. People are coming to you now as part of Secureframe. Talk to me more about this, but you can scale as fast as you want. But winning net new customers as fast as you’re losing them isn’t going to help you scale. Fortunately, we don’t face that here at Secureframe. Our retention rate with our customers is phenomenal, because we really put that aspect of customer service on top of our platform, but if you’re winning new customers as fast as you’re losing, it will tarnish the reputation of your organization which could cause major, major challenges in your sales cycle as you continue to move forward. So when I Think about challenges with an organization, such as a hyper-growth company, I think of those challenges personally.
Pete Thornton 25:07
Yeah, that’s great. I mean, just that takeaway within that kind of blanket explanation, I think it would resonate with just 1000s of people in similar environments. So you kind of mentioned, the pros and cons are like, you’ll never see something go from inception to maturity as fast as you will in a hyper-growth organization. So if you want to get a drinking from the firehose, and another one might type of experience like you do get it faster, because it is moving faster. So that’s the Pro, but the constantly changing demands within the organization due to the industry due to external factors, even things outside of the control. And then if I was to summarize, you mentioned, first and foremost, hiring, a hiring quota is so interesting. You take the best individual contributors, across SAS software sales, you turn them into sales leaders with no such training available, probably did not go to college for it, not many people 60 Or had family members doing it. And then you say, Now, your job is actually to go hire people, and then train them, ramp them into this role. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen a gun and like without blinking an eye there, but it’s like, no, that’s how we do it. I’m like, No, but do you? Is this good? Should we look at this, but so will you bring up hiring the hiring quota. And then also, of course, the demand for quality, your background couldn’t be better, especially coming from Aerotech. As far as like how the process actually works and looks, you know how to work yo ops, et cetera. That is not something that’s commonly known coming back to hiring like, Do you have any, and we can have an overall tip later. Do you have a tip for managers who are now finding themselves hiring hand over fist who have not had any experience doing this at all?
Jon Mathews 26:52
Yeah, I mean, it’s a tough aspect, right? Because look, I say this to any new leader: who’s kind of first in their venture of hiring is you’re always taking a risk, regardless of the individual you’re hiring. It’s always a risk. People are a risk. One thing we can’t control in society, and that’s people. I think in that aspect, you have to hone in on what is your strategy? What type of culture are you trying to build? What is the ideal profile of individuals coming into your organization. You define those, you first need to define those out. You need to make sure you’re aligned across the entire organization. But then you have to look for the tangibles. You know, I know there’s right now this hot competitive hiring market that we’re in. Companies are moving fast on people, which I think is a great thing at Secureframe. We move quick, but we certainly do have some steps because not only do we want to try to get to know the individual on the other side, we want them to get to know us. We want them to be a fit, just like we want the ops to be a fit for them that makes sense. And so we want to make sure that we’re doing our due diligence on both sides. Because once they come into Secureframe were invested in all of our people. And that’s what I love about this culture in an organization. We’re invested into the growth of your career, where you want to be. We obviously all work hard. That’s part of any Hyper Growth organization, but you got to look at this. You got to look at the tangibles. What is it that you’re looking for? I think a big one of self-awareness individuals, especially in the sales role, I’ll say self-awareness is key. Are you self-aware of your strengths? And areas of improvement weaknesses, right? And are you open to growing? Are you open to that feedback to help you grow, and become a better sales individual tomorrow than you work today? Right. And so self-awareness is key grit, tenacity, someone that’s going to move mountains to do what they need to do, but also have a mindset of a good work/life balance, you certainly don’t want to burn people out, so there’s always a balanced everything that we do, right. But I think you look at those important aspects on top of communication. Those are some good tangibles that I look for, but also it’s like repetition, just like anything, you’re gonna, you’re gonna make some bad hires. And that’s just reality, right? You can’t reflect on that you just kind of have to learn and grow from it and then try to continue to improve upon that as you continue to look at bringing people into the organization.
Pete Thornton 29:14
Helpful. Helpful from somebody who’s done it a few times, too. Yeah, so okay, and I have selfishly, the place where like hiring intersects with the new hire ramp is like my life. It’s like, where I could go down the rabbit hole for the next hour because like the day one the job done, we have something called the center of excellence that postman handles that for their 17 unique roles we’ve done for engineering, like piloted five teams, because we had to generate a system to go and get these unique outcomes and milestones. What are we measuring? How do we measure it and then generate a system to keep up to date with the kind of content or certification series are going to need to move through the steps just to ease the burden from some managers like yourself like some of the people leaders, like from EA Step Up at who are now doing those types of jobs and didn’t have to do and before don’t all have the time you need that, alas for another one for that product development, and then it was just success like, like, can we like the reputation? Are we retaining our customers? Of all the work on the front end, are we doing a good job continually making sure that they get better and better over time, they experienced that on both sides as well. So those are three great challenges.
Jon Mathews 30:26
Pete Thornton 30:28
As always, it’s like, that’s the more time that I promised to take from you. But a lot of it go on and on. I know, maybe if we can take a step back, you’re a sales leader hypergrowth organization have had a lot of professional success and your time in the field as we’ve unpacked. So if there was somebody in your role, but maybe wish to be in your role as a sales, but it was maybe a year behind two years behind something like that, any tips you could offer or a tip that would help them get to where you’re at today?
Jon Mathews 30:58
Yeah, I mean, great question. I’ve gotten that asked a lot in my career from individuals who want to take that leap into leadership. And I think the first piece is just asking yourself why leadership, right leadership is, it’s a selfless role, I always like to look at as a servant leader, right? And I think that’s a word that gets used, do you take it to heart, right? Is leadership truly what you want? Do you see a lot of individuals step in? And then they realize, yeah, maybe Leadership isn’t for me. So you have to ask why, what is your why? Why leadership? And me personally, I enjoy watching people grow, I enjoy developing people, that’s just always been the aspect that I’ve enjoyed, and why I wanted to get into it. And so any individuals, I always tried to get the tips to have, if you want leadership, one, you need to play the role that you weren’t. And I think that applies not only to sales leadership that applies any position that you want internally, or maybe with a different organization, you have to play the role that you want. If you’re a senior sales executive today, but you wanted to take that first leap into sales management role are you playing today? Are you developing other Junior A’s within the organization? Are you leading by example? Are you helping out your sales manager today, in terms of taking on training development with some of the individuals on the team. So there are aspects of saying, play the role that you want, and two is just branding yourself and getting your name out within the organization, asking for constant feedback, asking for more responsibility, especially if you have flash success in the sales role, it’s, Hey, I would love more responsibility, right? This is my path, how do I get there? And I think that leads me into the third piece is having that conversation with your sales manager and your sales leader in the organization and other people that have influence on that to say, what can I do better? What can I be doing now to ensure that the next opening that we have, I would like it, I would like for it to be me. Right? So I think if you take those aspects and you start applying the role that you want to be in I think you’ll certainly find yourself moving into that path.
Pete Thornton 33:02
Yeah, that’s excellent. I numbered them slightly different than you but what I heard was asked Matt why leadership like that’s such a good place right there like what is it because there’s an ego piece to it as well that would be nice, absolutely mantelpiece comes with a lot of work, though. So you should know why. Dive in and involve other human beings into your, into your growth to the top, there’s other, have less baggage associated with them, honestly, be the guy that plays a role, be it now like if you’re if you want to do that, and don’t have to wait, you can do that. Now. It’s and start to encompass like it gives you a little preview to what you’re actually asking for, it probably dovetails really well, with why leadership, and then the branding and branding, that’s really interesting. Like, just because it’s like an internal branding, where you’re associating yourself with it just for by asking for help with it. And then actually ask them for like, you’re doing the two-way street of like asking for help, and asking for more. Can I have more responsibility? Could I do this for you? And, and that’s, that’s really, really helpful. It is interesting when people do that, it may not be immediate. But at some point, especially in hindsight, we’re going to need to take care of this now. Like this can’t wait any Yes, become an emergency, who can help us solve this emergency. And it always looks like a lot of work. But if you think somebody could fulfill that you do get opportunities in hyperdrive that you might not get in other organizations as quickly, which is definitely a benefit. You mentioned earlier. Spot on. It’s an awesome tip. Wonderful, wonderful. A session here, John, I really, really appreciate it like these are these are great insights from the sales leader who’s definitely had the experience and kind of been through it all. I have a final question, though, because when I noticed that people come directly out of school and have an immediate success, sometimes their almost like self-modeling something they’ve already done. Were you an athlete in high school or college by any chance?
Jon Mathews 35:03
Ah, Pete, argumentative. I will say I was an athlete in high school, but by no means athletic played soccer growing up. So I think I know you’re going with that, that competitive mindset and the discipline and so forth.
Pete Thornton 35:17
Yeah, yeah. Sometimes it’s like, okay, the sport has moved on, uh, where am I going to take this, like some of this, because it’s not like we do a lot of like mentorship in career fields, or we’re not like an apprentice society anymore. I had a big education background, 10 years and in post-secondary, secondary and post-secondary education. It’s a disservice because you’re like, here, learn a little more calculus before you go do this. So sometimes it is from an athletic background, some people find that extra push.
Jon Mathews 35:48
Spot on. Yeah, for anyone who’s not an athlete, or wasn’t a part of that. There are certainly other ways to get involved in aspects of high school, college and being within those type of mindsets to drive and push you. So no worries if you’re not an athlete. I was never really much one love sports. But at the same time, it was just my mindset of wanting to be the best version of myself each and every single day throughout my life.
Pete Thornton 36:13
Totally, totally, totally. Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, no, hi. I got to play some college soccer myself, but it was only because I thought—
Jon Mathews 36:20
Oh, you’re better. You’re better.
Pete Thornton 36:21
Yeah, you can. You can choose schools you can go to where you can play and you can choose schools. So if you choose a college smaller than your high school, you might get in there. You’re winning. I love it. I love it. That’s the hypergrowth so that challenge there. John is tremendous. Thank you so much for your time. I really really appreciate it and looking forward to Aaron this so everybody else can gain as much value as I just did.
Jon Mathews 36:45
Yeah, thank you Pete. Everyone listening to Pete’s podcast here. Phenomenal individual. Enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun.